Sunday, April 28, 2013


I've been enjoying the expansion. Because of the reports that Makeb itself wouldn't provide enough experience to hit level 55 I picked up the Macrobinocular and Seeker Droid. I enjoyed the traveling around to older planets. It keeps the game from feeling limited as only focusing on a new area makes any expansion feel small. (Even the large area of Pandaria in WoW felt small in time when it was the only place most of our quests were at.) Because of all the travel, it is nice when time is short to have lots of options to move around quickly. One of the options that gets overlooked are the old Fleet Shuttles because they aren't being used for their original purpose.

The fleet shuttles are from the earliest days of the game, pre-Group Finder. The ostensible idea was that while you quested on a planet you'd be in general chat looking for a group while you quested. Once you had a group put together your group would travel to your planet's fleet shuttle, pick up the feeder quest, shuttle, and then head to the instance portal on the fleet. Profit!, and thus a server community would be built. At least in the minds of the Bioware devs.

Unfortunately it didn't work that way. As a practical matter, unless you were in a static group or had a guild of were folks were at the same level (mostly) this tended not to work. It was hard enough putting together a group for the planet's heroics - everyone seemed to be trying to hit the endgame - as it was to find an instance group. Even worse, if you were on the wrong side of a faction imbalanced server, say, Republic on the late Keller's Void, you were even more screwed. I never saw instances on my Republic toons until the server merge to Jedi Covenant and the emergence of the Group Finder.

The nice thing about the Fleet Shuttle is that it doesn't have a cooldown nor does it cause a cooldown on your Emergency Fleet Pass or legacy Fleet Priority Transport. That's handy when your Emergency Fleet Pass is still the 18 hour one or you haven't unlocked the legacy one.

Here's a list of what taxi location you need for the various shuttles for each planet.

Planet Taxi location
Alderaan (Imperial) Outpost Bolym
Alderaan (Republic) Wardpost Duval
Balmorra (Imperial) Glorinth Imperial Outpost (landing location)
Balmorra (Republic) Bugtown (landing location)
Belsavis (Imperial) Imperial Command Post
Belsavis (Republic) Republic Watchtower
Corellia (Imperial) Imperial War Camp
Corellia (Republic) Republic Outpost
Coruscant Senate Plaza Taxi
Dromund Kass The Wall Speeder
Hoth (Imperial) Leth Outpost (Fleet Shuttle is on the other side of the base)
Hoth (Republic) Outpost Senth
Nar Shaddaa (Imperial) Lower Promenade
Nar Shaddaa (Republic) Lower Promenade
Quesh (Imperial) -None-
Quesh (Republic) -None-
Taris (Imperial) Toxic Lake Garrison
Taris (Republic) Waypoint Station Aurek
Tatooine (Imperial) Toxic Lake Garrison
Tatooine (Republic) Waypoint Station Aurek
Voss (Imperial) Fort Kodentha
Voss (Republic) Ken-La Outpost

Monday, April 1, 2013

WoWed out

[Given the date I'm posting this, I do have to say this isn't an April Fool's joke.]

Today I cancelled my WoW account. The game has reached a point where it isn't fun and I don't have the desire to login and complete those few things I still had some interest in. (A couple of titles, a couple of older legendaries.)

Now, WoW is still the wildly successful 800 lb gorilla in the MMO market, so I don't want to come across as if I was saying it was a bad game. It's not. What has happened is that what I want out of WoW isn't there and probably won't ever be there. I've finally gotten tired of the Red Queen's racetrack of gearing, WoW-style. Gear has become this short-term consumable that's ongoing irritant. You hope to get a drop from RNG, then you have to enchant it, gem it, reforge it. Then if you get another piece of gear you might have to redo it all once again. Long gone are the days of just equipping something and going. Of getting a drop meaning something special because you knew you'd be using it for a long time. Add to that the mentality of 'You Must Be This High of an ilevel to raid' and gear is an unpleasant stick.

(I am aware of the irony of dropping WoW and playing SW:ToR, given SW:ToR heavily imitated many WoW systems. While it isn't particularly logical, all I can say is that I'm having fun in SW:ToR whereas I'm not in WoW.)

Another issue is that I've played WoW for a long time now. I've been playing since 2006. That's a long time for anyone not in a guild with strong social bonds. Over the years I've all the boss fights, quests, battlegrounds, done a large number of achievements, and so on, and so forth. It's become difficult for Blizzard to do anything fresh. Even when they do something fresh (the new talent system, for example) that thing isn't enough by itself to attract me. Sequel-itis wears out even the best games. Even your favorite eating place would get boring over time if that's the only place you ate at.

At this point it is time to focus my attention on other games. Time to try different eating establishments and broaden my tastes, as it were. Perhaps one day I might go back and try my old favorite -- they nicely keep my seat available to their credit -- but maybe not. We shall see.